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Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Situated in the heart of Port-au-Prince, the FOKAL Cultural Centre is a meeting place for learning, reading, debate, recreation, and discovery. It was designed for the Fondation Connaissance & Liberté in 2003, by the Haitian architect Gaylor Esper. Thanks to OSI funding and George Soros’ trust, FOKAL was able to build its own centre. The art and woodwork are the work of the Haitian artist Iris and the Promobois company. The work was done by the Haitian company GJ Consultants. The Centre includes a public library that already has over 5000 subscribers, a small auditorium, a café-terrace, and an Internet café. It is open to children and young people from disadvantaged downtown neighbourhoods. Activities at the Centre allow these young people to meet Haitian and foreign artists and intellectuals, and to have access to information and knowledge. This Centre is a rarity in Haiti: a space where farmers, women, children and young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods can talk with each other and with representatives from all sectors of society about subjects related to education, the environment, culture and democracy.

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